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How to clean a washing machine: DIY guide for both front loader and top loader

6 minute read |

You run water and washing detergent in your washing machine regularly. Does it mean it’s clean? Not necessarily.

Like any other home appliance, your washing machine needs a deep clean so it performs at its best for longer. Otherwise, mould and mildew may grow in its damp crevices, causing both your machine and laundry to smell.

As a rule of thumb, thoroughly clean it at least once a month depending on your washing habits. Whether for a front load or a top load washer, refer to this DIY guide on how to clean an automatic washing machine from Electrolux Arabia.

Preparation before cleaning your washing machine

The process, on average, will take about three hours, but most of it is just waiting for the cycles to finish. Here are the materials you need:

  • Microfibre cloth
  • Warm soapy water
  • Small brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Washing machine cleaner. This is your best option since it’s specially formulated to do the job without causing damage to your appliance.

Also, as we provide separate cleaning instructions for front loader and top loader users, here is a comparison article about key differences between front load and top load washing machines for your reference. 

How to clean a front load washing machine

For each step, focus on one area.

1. Run normal cycle with hot water to clean the drum

Make sure no clothes are left inside before you start. Follow the instructions of the washing machine cleaner you have. This may come in a form of a tablet, powder, or liquid that you’ll have to load directly in your drum or detergent dispenser.

You can then run your front load washing machine on a normal cycle with hot water. Some Electrolux washing machines also have dedicated cleaning programmes like Tub Clean or Clean Washer. When the cycle ends, wipe the drum so no residue is left.

How to clean Electrolux front load washing machine

How to clean Electrolux front load washing machine

2. Unplug your washer & let water flow out from your drain and filter

Water may be collecting in your drain and filter, potentially harbouring germs. When the cycle is finished, unplug your machine, then look for a small panel on its lower front portion. Ready towels or a tray underneath to contain the water. Open the panel and unscrew the dial slowly to control water as it flows out.

>>> Read more:

3. Scrub the pump filter with a small brush

Completely unscrew the cap, inspect both the filter and drain, then remove any foreign objects clogging them such as lint or forgotten objects from pockets. If left unchecked, this could cause excessive vibrations and long cycle times. Run the filter through warm water and scrub with a small brush.

How to clean washing machine filter

How to clean washing machine filter

4. Spray hot soapy water to clean washing machine gasket and door


For owners of front load washing machines, it’s also important to know how to clean the rubber door seal the right way.

Soap and water residue in the rubber seal combined with the warm environment inside your machine, is the perfect breeding ground for mould and odours.

While the washing machine cleaner should have cleaned this, it’s best to check again. For a more thorough clean, spray hot soapy water on the door seal, gently pulling back the folds to really get in there, then wipe with a clean cloth. Include the inside of the door too.

How to clean washing machine rubber seal

How to clean washing machine rubber seal

5. Remove the drawer & scrub off all residue with warm soapy water

Overtime, detergent can build up in the crevices of your dispenser, causing blockage. To clean it, gently remove the drawer. One long tray should easily slide off. Separate all the removable inserts, and soak them in warm soapy water. Scrub off all residue to make sure they’re squeaky clean, and then wipe dry.

Before returning it, use a brush or cloth to make sure the drawer cavity is free of any powder residue.

6. Finish off by cleaning the washing machine exterior

Finish off by wiping down the machine exterior and controls using a damp cloth. Now your machine is spotless inside and out.

Refer to the below tutorial video on how to clean your Electrolux front load washing machine:

>>> More cleaning tips for your home appliances:

How to clean a top load washing machine

For each step, focus on one area.

1. Clean washing machine tub by running a normal cycle with hot water

Tub clean in washing machine is a common concern of top loader users.

Check if there are any forgotten items left inside. Simply follow the instructions of the washing machine cleaner. Most likely, you’ll have to load it directly into the tub. You can then set your machine to a normal cycle with hot water.

You may notice the water getting dirty. That’s because of the buildup of gunk underneath the inner drum. Let it drain and wipe the tub to make sure no residue remains.

2. Slide off the detergent dispenser & soak it in warm soapy water

Gently slide off the detergent dispenser then soak in warm soapy water. Give it a good scrub so no residue remains. Brush the inside of the drawer compartment too.

3. Clean the edge and inside of your washing machine door

Using warm soapy water, scrub around the edge and the inside of the machine door. If your top load washing machine has an agitator, wipe its top too. These areas will have less grime because water usually drips down. Rinse with water afterwards.


4. Wipe off your washing machine exterior with damp microfibre cloth

Don’t forget the outside of your top load washing machine. Wipe its controls and the rest of its body using a damp microfibre cloth to remove dust, grime, and drips of laundry product. Take care not to use any harsh chemicals or any abrasive material to maintain its coat.

Use a damp cloth to wipe down the machine exterior and controls

Use a damp cloth to wipe down the machine exterior and controls

Additional tips on keeping your washing machine fresh smelling for longer

Follow these 5 easy tips to make the fresh smell last longer on your beloved clothes:

  • Before every wash, give your clothes a thorough going over before putting them in to remove loose coins, tissue or paper from pockets. Shake off excess dirt from heavily soiled garments.
  • After the cycle finishes, immediately take the clothes out.
  • After washing, immediately wipe the rubber door seal, and keep the door and drawer ajar to dry out the interior and prevent moulds and odours.
  • Occasionally use a water softening powder to slow limescale buildup.
  • Use only the correct amount of detergent and softener for your load. Otherwise, you risk damaging your clothes and leaving more residue in the drum.

Hopefully, this post from Electrolux Arabia has provided you with helpful DIY tips on how to clean a front load and top load washing machine. Know how to operate your automatic washer properly and keep it always clean & hygienic is the key to make you laundry machine last longer and also need fewer repairs.

If you are on the market for a new washing machine, don't forget to check out our collection of best-quality Electrolux washing machines below:

  • UltraWash offers perfect cleaning at lower temperatures for less energy
  • Gentle care drum protects your delicate clothes
  • SteamCare reduces wrinkles by 30%
  • SteamCare System reduces wrinkles by 30%
  • SensiCare System automatically opimizes settings to adapt the load
  • Eco TimeManager allows less energy, more time
  • Eco TimeManager allows less energy, more time
  • Extra-large opening for easy loading and unloading
  • Gentler than traditional hand-washing
  • Abaya cycle is designed for gentle cleaning.
  • StainCare removes 40 different visible stains*.
  • UltraMix prevents visible detergent residue*.
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